A Luxury Collection Destination, Japan
Over one thousand temples and shrines reside in the magical city of Kyoto on the island of Honshu. In this capital city of the Kyoto Prefecture, respect for tradition is evident in daily life. Refined Kaiseki restaurants, picturesque tea houses, and ancient art forms are as relevant today as they were thousands of years ago.
As an ambassador for The Luxury Collection, Zhou traveled to Suiran, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Kyoto to shoot a short film for the brand, sharing her thoughts on travel and how exploring different cultures impacts her personal life as an actress. Through her role as a Global Explorer, Zhou brings a fresh and unique perspective on The Luxury Collection’s captivating destinations including personal insights and travel tips curated for the luxury Chinese traveler.
Locals greet the new year with a visit to a shrine (or a hatsumode), and Fushimi Inari is particularly festive with women dressed in their best kimonos and stalls selling traditional food.
Stand on the sidelines and encourage runners as they wind their way through this incredibly scenic course that passes seven UNESCO World Heritage sites.
The arrival of the breathtaking cherry blossom season in April is greeted with tea ceremonies and traditional dance performances by geisha and maiko (apprentices) of the Gion district.
Full of drama and pageantry with Noh actors and musicians, this boating festival on the Oi River is a reenactment of an imperial boating party when Kyoto became the capital of Japan in the Heian period.
Noh is an ancient and revered form of theater of actors in hand-painted masks, and this popular festival performed at a shrine is capped with a bonfire.
Kyoto’s largest festival is a month-long celebration marked by elaborate parades, performances, street parties, with the highlight being a massive float procession mid-month.
Filmmakers, artists, publishers, and fans turn out in large numbers for KYO-MAF, Western Japan’s largest manga and anime trade fair.
Locals dressed in Edo-period costume parade through this small village north of Kyoto with fiery torches as part of this ancient and fascinating rite of passage for youth in the town.
Temples, shrines, and scenic walkways are illuminated with traditional lanterns as part of this festival of light in the Old Capital.
Admire the Meji-era architecture of this former summer home built for Baron Shozo Kawasaki which is now an elegant Japanese-style restaurant for teppanyaki or kinshu, the chef’s seasonal 10-course dinner.
Enjoy lunch or an afternoon snack of hisui-mochi, a matcha-filled dessert, at this 100-year-old poet’s house overlooking the Hozu River and the pine dotted Arashiyama Hills.
For a more intimate affair, reserve the tranquil garden-side Shogetsu room where up to 12 guests will experience a custom menu or a special menu as designed by the chef.
The gold-clad 14th century Kinkaku-ji, or Golden Pavilion, was once the home of an infamous shogun and was later converted into a Zen temple that continues to entice visitors today.
Classic ryokan elements, such as tatami surfaces, yukata dressing gowns, soaking tubs, and traditional futon mattresses on request, are found in every room.
Have the dedicated concierge team assist with arranging tours of historic temples and inspiring landmarks, or booking rickshaw tours, a sake tasting or kimono-dressing experience.
The Japanese bathing ritual is as sacred today as it was thousands of years ago. Soak in one of the two traditional onsen-style open air baths, the Hinoki cypress or natural stone tub, in the hushed spa treatment rooms.
Join the Starwood Preferred Guest program and end every journey with a reward, including points for exclusive offers and free nights at exceptional hotels and resorts worldwide.